8. Ohio - The Bobcats are certainly no slouch. This is a Mid-Tier tournament across the board and someone has to finish in 8th. I see Ohio losing three consecutive close games in Charleston. I still expect Ohio to be a top half of the MAC team this season.
7. Indiana State - Coming off their very impressive 21-point win at Indiana, it was difficult to pick ISU 7th in Charleston. That result was directly due to red hot 3-point shooting (16-25 66% from deep). My prediction is they wont be able to get that hot in the early game (11:30am EST) vs. Auburn and again playing in the afternoon on Friday. If the Sycamores stay hot, watch out - they could win this thing.
6. Dayton - Anthony Grant's debut was a thriller as Dayton beat Ball State by one point at the buzzer. Once again they should be in quite a battle as the Flyers open up against Hofstra in Round 1. I see Hofstra squeaking that out and then Dayton taking care of in-state foe Ohio, before eventually landing in 6th after losing to....
5. Old Dominion - I really like this Old Dominion team thus far. They go 8-10 deep which is great for three day tournament, and play a verteran lineup led by BJ Stith. I see the Monarchs losing a heart breaker in Round 1, but then bouncing back to win two straight over Indiana State and Dayton to leave Charleston feeling good.
4. Hofstra - The Pride got a nice draw here by drawing Dayton in the opener. Dayton is still trying to find themselves, whereas Hofstra has a deep bench and really strong leadership behind Senior's Rokas Gustys and Joel Angus. I see Hofstra getting a nice win over Dayton before running into too much talent against Clemson and Auburn.
3. Auburn - Despite having the most talented roster in the field, I just couldn't pick Auburn to win this tournament given the turmoil. Wiley and Purifoy remain suspended and Bruce Pearl is busy covering his tracks. It's a tough time to focus on getting three straight wins, but could also serve as the perfect getaway, we shall see.
2. Temple - The Owls have still not played a game this year! So I have to stick with where I had them preseason and that would be the 2nd best team in the field. Temple could easily land in any place 1-8 based on the parity of this tournament.
1. Clemson - Dear Clemson, you get to play this tournament in your home state against a slate of teams that you should beat. Please do not ruin this golden opportunity. I'm reluctantly choosing Clemson to beat Ohio, Hofstra, Temple to take the tournament. That would be a nice draw for the Tigers. Enjoy the games!